Letters to the Editor: May 1, 2016

Seth J. Frantzman rightly points out the many problems with moral “light to the nations,” “The dark side of ‘Or Lagoyim,’” Terra Incognita, April 25.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
New light
Seth J. Frantzman rightly points out the many problems with moral “light to the nations,” “The dark side of ‘Or Lagoyim,’” Terra Incognita, April 25.
Only one problem – the Prophet Isaiah does not say “moral” light to the nations.
So what light might he be referring to. It was Abraham who first set the mark 4,000 years ago when he struggled against the evil idolatry that assumed a world of chaos.
That mark was partially hidden during 2,000 years of Jewish powerlessness. Yet the spark would not be extinguished.
It was kept glimmering for Jewish redemption with the emphasis shifting to moral example, however imperfect it might ever have been.
With the restoration of Jewish sovereignty, the Abrahamic spark, the Jewish marker, today glows anew in its full original brilliance as the Jewish people and its state herald at the gate, with full volume, warning the nations of the idolatrous threat of regime-evil to humanity.
This threat seeks to impose a religio-fascist totalitarianism on the world through human blood sacrifice.
In 2015, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu radiated this particularly Jewish light when he addressed the American Congress against Ayatollah Iran to tumultuous and repeated applause.
The nations are indeed beginning to turn toward Israel’s beacon because we are no longer powerless. They know much that many Jews have yet to learn.
There is no hint of superiority here.
Yes. We should leave morality out of it, for all its goodness, and unabashedly affirm Israel’s chosen mission today as a light to the nations against barbarism and chaos.
Correct this
Regarding “A promise that should be kept,” Comment and Features, April 26, Jonathan Greenberg opens his article with a rabbinic expression “machloket l’shem shamayim” – an argument for the sake of heaven.
I would like to quote another expression, “aneyei ircha kodem,” the poor of your city take precedence over the poor from other cities.
Rabbi Rick Jacobs is a frequent critic of the “occupation” in the Middle East. He could demonstrate a similar concern for Native Americans and make a personal “tikun olam” by making aliya, taking a first step to help end the European colonization of North America.
The Post’s editorial “Dayenu,” April 21, was – unfortunately – off the mark.
While there are certainly self-hating Jews, not all Jews (who criticize Israel) are self-hating.
In fact, what would one expect from a “New York Times Jew” – someone who has imbibed the Times coverage of Israel and Israel politics? I know because I was one. It was only after I moved here that I realized how I had been influenced by the “Paper of Record” (and its ilk).
Israel is always to blame – and its society is backwards too.
But after some first-hand knowledge – and news sources such as the Post itself – one realizes that the greatest impediment to an Israeli-Arab peace agreement is that one side (the Palestinians) is led by a group of people who have no such interest.
Otherwise, why the incitement, the street naming after murderers, and summer camps where kids learn not arts and craft, but how to shoot a weapon and kill Jews? More news sources and better ones – not opinion masquerading as news – is the answer.
Wrong history
Obviously, Mustafa Waziri is not familiar with his own Egyptian history, “Israeli claim that Pharaoh was Egyptian is a lie, says senior archeologist from Egypt,” April 27.
The Hyksos were Canaanite Semitic people who entered Egypt c. 1975 BCE. The Hyksos became kings of Northern Egypt 1640-1530 BCE. Joseph’s Israelite/ Hebrew family lived in Canaan and entered Egypt during a famine due to adverse weather.
According to Helen Chapin Metz: Ancient Egypt ‘Excerpted from, Egypt A Country Study,’ “The Old Kingdom 2649-2150 BCE ended when the central administration collapsed in the late Sixth Dynasty. This collapse seems to have resulted at least in part from climatic conditions that caused a period of low Nile waters and great famine. The kings would have been discredited by the famine, because pharaonic power rested in part on the belief that the king controlled the Nile.”
That is when Joseph and the Hebrews/Hyksos entered Egypt and took political control.
They brought prosperity to Egypt (Joseph’s dream interpretation to save grain). The Hebrews/ Hyksos multiplied and the Egyptians overthrew the “foreign kings.”
The Hebrews were enslaved as the Merneptah Stele states: ‘Israel is laid waste and his seed is not’ the Hebrews were enslaved by Pharaoh Ahmose who ruled in 1570-1546 BCE. Ahmose was the Pharaoh, “...who knew not Joseph,” who banished the foreign kings and enslaved the Hebrew people.
The Merneptah Stele states: Israel is laid waste & his seed is not.” That was inscribed to mark the escape or banishment of Hebrews/Hyksos out of Egypt c.
1213... exactly when Pharaoh Ramesses ruled and Moses led his people out of Egypt.
Ramesses ruled from 1279-1213 BCE. According to Torah, Ramesses is the Pharaoh to whom Moses pleaded to let his people go. This event is recorded on the Merneptah Stele, found in 1896 CE on the western bank of the Nile River, opposite Karnak Temple.
Merneptah ruled 1213-1203 BCE, after Ramesses died, and had the stele inscribed on the back of Amenhotep’s monument.
Both Flavius Josephus and Egyptian priest Manetho, believed the Hyksos and Hebrews were connected. Both stories ended with the Egyptians chasing after the Hyksos/Hebrews with chariots into the Sea of Reeds.
Coincidence? I think not.
Passover did happen, history recorded it in stone and on the walls of Tomb of Khnumhotep II.
I’ve written about this and all of Jewish history in my own, still to be published book, Stepping On Lotus Pads.
I submit that Mr. Waziri should study his own history before he tries to discredit Jewish history.
Scottsdale, Arizona
Our anthem
Regarding Jeff Barak’s comments on Hatikva in “Some home truths,” Reality Check, April 25, thousands of Israelis from Poland or with Polish ancestral connection will recall a great Polish celebration on May 3. It was on that day in 1791 that the Polish Sejm (parliament) proclaimed a constitution that gave common citizens and workers political rights, which were previously reserved for only nobility and spiritual institutions.
It was the first such in Europe or the second in the world after that of the USA.
The governments of neighboring countries considered it a threat to their absolute rule and reacted with hostility and subjected Poland to its third partition, thus ending the then Polish- Lithuanian Commonwealth.
In 1795 the Polish state ceased to exist.
But Poles sang with hope the so called Mazurka, which begins with the translated words, “Poland is not yet lost as long as we live.” After waiting 123 years, on November 11, 1918, the state reemerged. The Mazurka became the national anthem of reborn Poland, it also inspired similar songs by other peoples’ struggling for independence.
As Israelis we can comprehend a relativity with this thought of hope in the lyrics of our Hatikva – “As long as in the heart within a Jewish soul yearns for Zion, Jerusalem … our hope is not yet lost.”